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`The rarer action is in virtue rather than in vengeance` How far do these extracts show that forgiveness is a greater victory for Prospero than vengeance

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`The rarer action is in Virtue rather than in Vengeance` How far do these extracts show that Forgiveness is a greater victory for Prospero then Vengeance? In Act I Scene II, Prospero is all set on getting revenge on his enemies; however in Act V Scene I, Ariel manages to make Prospero feel more sympathetic towards them and by the end of the play Prospero forgives them. In Act 1 Scene 2, just after Ariel described to Prospero how he created the tempest, Prospero asks him, `My brave spirit, / Who was so firm, so constant that this coil / Would not infect his reason?


How's the day? ` Prospero's `project` to get his revenge, is nearly complete and you realise that Prospero has been in control throughout the play. However Ariel changes Prospero's mind when he tells him, `...the good old Lord Gonzalo. / His tears run down his beard...Your charm so strongly works'em, / that if you now beheld, your affections / would become tender`. After non-human Ariel suggests forgiveness rather than vengeance of their original crimes would justify, Prospero decides to forgive everyone. He also decides to give up his magic altogether. At the beginning of the play, in Act 1 Scene 2, Prospero wants his shipwrecked enemies safe when he could have had them killed; he has a clear plan in mind and he times it very well.


The power of magic is so powerful that it means that the real battle has been within Prospero himself, rather then between him and his enemies. In Act 5 Scene 1 Prospero forgives those who have wronged him, even though his memory of their crimes is still fresh. On ll.78-9, `I do forgive thee, / Unnatural though thou art! `, and later on ll.131-132 (three lines before the end of the play), `I do forgive thy rankest fault - all of them`. Therefore we see that Prospero forgives them. This forgiveness shows Prospero's victory over himself and over his desire to take revenge. ?? ?? ?? ?? E. Fletcher The Tempest 26/4/07 1

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